Ralf Schumacher believes Charles Leclerc should pursue a move to Aston Martin as Lawrence Stroll‘s team continue to overshadow Ferrari in 2023.
Aston Martin‘s Fernando Alonso has scored over twice as many points as Leclerc including six podiums to the Monegasque driver’s one – a far cry from the first half of 2022 which saw him fighting for wins and the championship.
Leclerc‘s contracted to Ferrari until the end of 2024, but Schumacher urged him to explore other options than the team he’s been part of since 2016.
“So far, there have only been Mercedes and Red Bull as potential options,” Schumacher told Sky Germany. “Mercedes is not quite as current at the moment, and it’s safe to assume that Hamilton will continue there.
“But I believe a strong candidate is also Aston Martin, as they also need to look around. Fernando Alonso will have another year after that.”
What could Aston Martin offer Leclerc?
In the middle of 2022, such a suggestion would’ve been laughed out of the room – but things move quickly in the world of F1.
Schumacher‘s comments come ahead of the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix – an event that Leclerc won 12 months ago to close his championship gap to Verstappen to 38 points.
Aston Martin sat ninth in the championship with just 18 points with Ferrari second on over 300, and lead driver Sebastian Vettel had less than a tenth of Leclerc’s drivers’ championship total.
But one year on, that remains Leclerc‘s last F1 victory Aston Martin sit ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship despite the uncompetitive Lance Stroll anchoring the mean green team.
Ex-Red Bull engineer Dan Fallows has overseen the revolution, while things are only poised to continue improving with their new wind tunnel set to come online and an engine partnership with Honda starting in 2026.
With Fallows quickly becoming one of the most well-respected technical directors in the paddock and the best power unit-manufacturer of the 2020s joining the Aston Martin project, the move would also take Leclerc away from the Ferrari pressure-cooker.
“Who knows, [Lawrence Stroll‘s] son doesn’t fulfil the season goals, they may need to bring in another strong driver for the future, building alongside Fernando Alonso,” Schumacher added.
“Accordingly, that would be a logical possibility for Leclerc, also considering the Honda partnership eventually.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
With the F1 circus finished in Canada, the next race is the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix which will be held at the Red Bull Ring in the Styrian mountains over the weekend of June 30-July 2.